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Volume 4 | Issue 1 | Winter 2017

Minister's Message

Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

As our province’s economy continues to grow, so does our need for skilled tradespeople. Through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), we are constantly looking to increase the number of employer sponsors in the province, and thereby provide more opportunities for apprentices to gain the skills and experience needed to become certified tradespeople.

Sponsoring an apprentice is a key way for employers to pass along their knowledge and guarantee skilled, prepared workers are able to meet labour demands. According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, for every dollar an

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As our province’s economy continues to grow, so does our need for skilled tradespeople. Through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), we are constantly looking to increase the number of employer sponsors in the province, and thereby provide more opportunities for apprentices to gain the skills and experience needed to become certified tradespeople.

Sponsoring an apprentice is a key way for employers to pass along their knowledge and guarantee skilled, prepared workers are able to meet labour demands. According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, for every dollar an employer invests in apprenticeship training, they receive an average return on investment of $1.47. Additionally, the federal and provincial governments provide income tax credits for employers of apprentices in registered ITA programs.

But the benefits of hiring an apprentice are more than financial. Succession planning is another, and so is the ability it gives an employer to train high-quality workers who fit within employer organizations. The ITA’s website has resources for employers interested in hiring apprentices, including an employer guidebook, at www. itabc.ca/resource-materials.

Fewer young people are entering BC’s workforce than those retiring from it, so it is essential that we create conditions that give young British Columbians a streamlined route from middle and high school, through to post-secondary training and on to the workforce.

I applaud all of our employer partners who are doing their part to ensure BC has a talented skilled workforce for years to come.

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CEO Message

A business-building idea for trades employers

All successful businesses know one thing: to grow their business, they need to stay ahead of the curve and foster innovation.

For employers in the trades, innovation can come in the form of sponsoring apprentices.

In British Columbia, there are over 12,000 apprentice job seekers signed up on WorkBC.ca's Apprentice Job Match tool, and ready to work. With more people interested in and

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A business-building idea for trades employers

All successful businesses know one thing: to grow their business, they need to stay ahead of the curve and foster innovation.

For employers in the trades, innovation can come in the form of sponsoring apprentices.

In British Columbia, there are over 12,000 apprentice job seekers signed up on WorkBC.ca's Apprentice Job Match tool, and ready to work. With more people interested in and entering the trades each year, there is an ever-increasing demand for employer sponsors. As it stands, only one in five trades employers sponsors apprentices in BC.

For business owners in the trades industry, there's no better way to accomplish your business goals than to become an employer sponsor and hire apprentices. Not only will you be helping your business by gaining new talent with fresh perspectives, you will be receiving tax incentives and giving back by teaching your craft to the next generation of tradespeople. At the end of the day, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. As a sponsor, you’re more than just “the boss,” you’re also a valued mentor, providing a path toward a meaningful career.

Everyone needs a little help getting started and sponsoring an apprentice is one of the easiest ways to find a motivated and qualified employee in the skilled trades. Remember, you were there once too, and someone gave you a chance.

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Employer Profile

Apprentices at Solid Rock Steel work their magic on a steel structure.

Rock-solid success, thanks to apprenticeships

You may not know their name, but – if you’ve spent any time in Vancouver – you’ll probably know their work. Solid Rock Steel, a Surrey-based company, has contributed a lot to Vancouver’s skyline. From SkyTrain stations across the city, to the stunning Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, they’ve fabricated and installed some pretty impressive steel structures.

What does it take to deliver cutting-edge expertise and innovative designs? If you ask General Manager Peter Steunenberg, he’ll tell you one good place to start: sponsoring

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Rock-solid success, thanks to apprenticeships

You may not know their name, but – if you’ve spent any time in Vancouver – you’ll probably know their work. Solid Rock Steel, a Surrey-based company, has contributed a lot to Vancouver’s skyline. From SkyTrain stations across the city, to the stunning Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, they’ve fabricated and installed some pretty impressive steel structures.

What does it take to deliver cutting-edge expertise and innovative designs? If you ask General Manager Peter Steunenberg, he’ll tell you one good place to start: sponsoring apprentices.

The company has been in business for 50 years and in that time they’ve developed a winning apprenticeship program, helping to build their long-term success.

“When I look at my current crew of 40 employees, over half were apprentices with us, some over 30 years ago,” says Steunenberg. “They’ve helped build the company.”

The qualities he looks for in an apprentice? Work ethic, reliability, trade skills, and the willingness and ability to learn.

For Solid Rock Steel, it makes financial sense to hire apprentices. Not only that, Steunenberg says, but by hiring an apprentice, “we can get a person that fits with the company, because we’ve trained them to do our type of work.”

His advice to an employer who is looking to sponsor an apprentice: “It’s worth it.”

Find out what makes Solid Rock Steel a Champion of Apprenticeship, and what makes it takes to become an employer sponsor.

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Youth Initiatives

Jason Leber, ITA Youth Program Manager, hosts ITA's Youth Day 2016.

Annual Youth Day conference aims to drive female enrolment in skilled trades careers

Over 170 career educators, employers and industry representatives gathered for ITA’s annual Youth Day conference in November 2016 to share best practices, insights and opportunities for young people in the skilled trades, with a specific focus on women in the trades.

The one-day conference included a keynote speaker, a workshop on promoting females in non-traditional trades, roundtable discussions on timely subjects, an update on ITA Youth Programs, and a session highlighting innovative and sustainable trades

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Annual Youth Day conference aims to drive female enrolment in skilled trades careers

Over 170 career educators, employers and industry representatives gathered for ITA’s annual Youth Day conference in November 2016 to share best practices, insights and opportunities for young people in the skilled trades, with a specific focus on women in the trades.

The one-day conference included a keynote speaker, a workshop on promoting females in non-traditional trades, roundtable discussions on timely subjects, an update on ITA Youth Programs, and a session highlighting innovative and sustainable trades programming.

Closing remarks were made by the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, during which she thanked BC school districts and career educators for their continued commitment and support of ITA Youth Programs.

Find out more about this year’s Youth Day conference and what ITA has in store for youth across the province this year.

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WITT Initiatives

Tradeswoman shines bright in her pursuit of a skilled trades career

Strong and passionate tradeswomen gathered for ITA’s annual Youth Day conference in November to inspire attendees with their experiences as women in the trades.

We were lucky enough to have Leah Kelly, Industrial Electrician apprentice, join us as a guest speaker to present and share her trades journey, including some of the obstacles she’s overcome, and the accomplishments she’s achieved so far.

As a single mother, Leah was a waitress until one day, she decided to go back to school. After exploring the university route, taking psychology,

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Tradeswoman shines bright in her pursuit of a skilled trades career

Strong and passionate tradeswomen gathered for ITA’s annual Youth Day conference in November to inspire attendees with their experiences as women in the trades.

We were lucky enough to have Leah Kelly, Industrial Electrician apprentice, join us as a guest speaker to present and share her trades journey, including some of the obstacles she’s overcome, and the accomplishments she’s achieved so far.

As a single mother, Leah was a waitress until one day, she decided to go back to school. After exploring the university route, taking psychology, chemistry, and physics, Leah realized she craved a different kind of challenge. That’s when she made the decision to pursue trades.

Since enrolling in Electrician Foundations and Level 1 at 35 years old, she has never looked back and has been travelling at the speed of light through her apprenticeship. Currently, she is shining bright as an apprentice with BC Hydro, and loves the flexibility her career provides for her and her daughter.

At the end of the day, Leah has one piece of advice for women considering the trades: “You can be a tradeswoman, and still be any kind of woman that you want.”

Find out more about the Women in Trades Training (WITT) programs that ITA offers to help and support women considering trades careers.

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Aboriginal Initiatives

ITA welcomes Aboriginal subject-matter expert to the team

With his extensive history working with Aboriginal people and communities across the province and country, we are pleased to welcome Michael Christian on board the ITA team as the new Director of Aboriginal Initiatives.

From his 25 years’ experience as an IT instructor, where he developed and delivered course materials relevant to First Nations, to his participation on various committees—­such as the First Nations Technology Council, North American Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, and the Global Indigenous Prep-com—Michael has dedicated much of his career to

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ITA welcomes Aboriginal subject-matter expert to the team

With his extensive history working with Aboriginal people and communities across the province and country, we are pleased to welcome Michael Christian on board the ITA team as the new Director of Aboriginal Initiatives.

From his 25 years’ experience as an IT instructor, where he developed and delivered course materials relevant to First Nations, to his participation on various committees—­such as the First Nations Technology Council, North American Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, and the Global Indigenous Prep-com—Michael has dedicated much of his career to learning about, participating in, and advising on Aboriginal matters.

Not only that, but Michael has been a Red Seal Carpenter for 31 years and has a bachelor’s degree in information technology,

as well as several IT industry certifications. Michael is a member and former Kukpi7 (Chief) of Splatsin, one of the 17 communities of the Secwepemc Nation (Shuswap), which is situated next to the City of Enderby in south-central BC. Welcome to the ITA team, Michael!

Learn more about Michael Christian, and ITA’s Aboriginal People in Trades Training Initiatives.

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ITA at Work

ITA Apprenticeship Advisor Pam Eales (far right) and ITA COO Jeff Lekstrom (center) visit Arctech Welding & Machining Ltd. in Fort St. John, BC.

Meet Pam Eales, Apprenticeship Advisor for northeast BC

ITA has 15 Apprenticeship Advisors located in communities across the province to help enhance ITA capability by better connecting and informing communities about the BC apprenticeship system. Pam Eales, based in northeast BC, tells us what she’s learned on the job.

ITA Trades Talk: What advice would you give employers in your region looking to sponsor apprentices?

Pam: I encourage employers to develop long-term training plans for apprentices. This helps to ensure expectations are clearly communicated from the get-go, staffing

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Meet Pam Eales, Apprenticeship Advisor for northeast BC

ITA has 15 Apprenticeship Advisors located in communities across the province to help enhance ITA capability by better connecting and informing communities about the BC apprenticeship system. Pam Eales, based in northeast BC, tells us what she’s learned on the job.

ITA Trades Talk: What advice would you give employers in your region looking to sponsor apprentices?

Pam: I encourage employers to develop long-term training plans for apprentices. This helps to ensure expectations are clearly communicated from the get-go, staffing levels are maintained, and training and work continues!

ITA Trades Talk: What is one of the benefits of apprenticeship within an organization?

Pam: On-the-job mentorship and training opportunities. Current apprentices on staff can help mentor new apprentices. It’s a win-win. The more advanced apprentices develop their skills and abilities while passing on their knowledge.

Learn more about Pam Eales, Apprenticeship Advisor for northeast BC, and find an Apprenticeship Advisor in your region.

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Blueprint

Industry outlook: succession planning key to replacing retiring workers

BC industry outlooks are now available on WorkBC.ca. You’ll see 19 industries and 58 sub-industries featured. A key piece of information in these outlook reports is the continuing trend of high numbers of retirements over the next 10 years, and beyond.

Before your experienced older workers walk out the door, have a plan and be well prepared. One part of the solution is hiring apprentices. Not only is it a strategy to ensure an adequate supply of workers, it’s

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Industry outlook: succession planning key to replacing retiring workers

BC industry outlooks are now available on WorkBC.ca. You’ll see 19 industries and 58 sub-industries featured. A key piece of information in these outlook reports is the continuing trend of high numbers of retirements over the next 10 years, and beyond.

Before your experienced older workers walk out the door, have a plan and be well prepared. One part of the solution is hiring apprentices. Not only is it a strategy to ensure an adequate supply of workers, it’s important in succession planning. By sponsoring an apprentice, your organization’s important business practices will be transferred to the next generation.

Ready to find an apprentice? Go to WorkBC.ca’s Apprentice Job Match to find the right local talent.

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In the News

Northern BC trades employer develops innovative in-house training for apprentices

Innovation is crucial to advancing trades training in BC, and at ITA, it’s something we’re keen to foster.

This month, we’re showcasing CCT Controls, a Fort St. John-based company that provides Instrumentation, Industrial Electrical, and Fabrication services.

As a sponsor of apprentices, CCT Controls understands the value of streamlining their training process so employees are equipped with the specialized training they need to do the best job they can. As such, the company recently developed an innovative onsite training centre to supplement the

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Northern BC trades employer develops innovative in-house training for apprentices

Innovation is crucial to advancing trades training in BC, and at ITA, it’s something we’re keen to foster.

This month, we’re showcasing CCT Controls, a Fort St. John-based company that provides Instrumentation, Industrial Electrical, and Fabrication services.

As a sponsor of apprentices, CCT Controls understands the value of streamlining their training process so employees are equipped with the specialized training they need to do the best job they can. As such, the company recently developed an innovative onsite training centre to supplement the technical training apprentices receive. The training centre matches tradespeople with the skills required to meet their clients’ unique needs.

CCT also established a competency measurement tool for apprentices that builds practical skill sets essential for CCT’s specialized work and equipment, and allows the company to track and document progress, filling in training gaps as they are identified.

The result of this innovative training and these cutting-edge techniques: skilled workers and cost-effective labour that is customized to serve the needs of customers.

Learn more about other examples of innovation in trades training underway across the province.

 

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In the News

ITA tours the province to celebrate successful Youth Work in Trades programs

In November 2016, ITA hit the road on a regional roadshow, making stops in communities across the province to celebrate employer sponsors and to recognize school districts that are setting students on the path to a successful career in the trades.

The roadshow is acknowledging eight school districts, each of which will be presented with the Youth Work in Trades (formerly SSA) Performance Award for having successful ITA Youth Programs in place. The award includes $5,000 to

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ITA tours the province to celebrate successful Youth Work in Trades programs

In November 2016, ITA hit the road on a regional roadshow, making stops in communities across the province to celebrate employer sponsors and to recognize school districts that are setting students on the path to a successful career in the trades.

The roadshow is acknowledging eight school districts, each of which will be presented with the Youth Work in Trades (formerly SSA) Performance Award for having successful ITA Youth Programs in place. The award includes $5,000 to assist each school district to further develop their youth programs, which allow students to begin the work-based training component of an apprenticeship while still in secondary school.

As 80 percent of apprenticeship training takes place on the work site, it is important that the education system starts building awareness early on about the opportunities available, helping students get the hands-on experience that is crucial to advancing their trades careers.

Photo caption 1: Gary Herman, ITA CEO, presents SD 60 with the Youth Train in Trades Performance Award in Fort St. John.                       

Photo caption 2: Jeff Lekstrom, ITA COO, presents a Prince George employer with a certificate of recognition for sponsoring apprentices.

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Sector Snapshot

Maritime Industry

The scope of the maritime sector includes important sub-sectors with the common defining feature that they are all industries that touch water. We design, build, operate, and protect.” – Jerome Rodriguez, Manager of Maritime Industry Relations, Industry Training Authority

With significant growth expected in the maritime sector over the next 10 years, there has never been a better time to start a trades career that touches water—especially in a province that has over 25,000 km of coastline.

Did you know?

  • The maritime sector encompasses
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Maritime Industry

The scope of the maritime sector includes important sub-sectors with the common defining feature that they are all industries that touch water. We design, build, operate, and protect.” – Jerome Rodriguez, Manager of Maritime Industry Relations, Industry Training Authority

With significant growth expected in the maritime sector over the next 10 years, there has never been a better time to start a trades career that touches water—especially in a province that has over 25,000 km of coastline.

Did you know?

  • The maritime sector encompasses eight sub-sectors, including shipbuilding, refit and repair, ocean science and technology, and marine professional services such as naval architecture and marine law.
  • BC is home to 43 percent of all Canadian shipbuilding and repair establishments with 78 percent of the BC shipbuilding and repair workforce concentrated on the Lower Mainland and south Vancouver Island.
  • BC’s ports are an integral part of the Pacific Gateway Strategy, forming a vital supply chain that links Canada to the rest of the world. BC’s ports handle over $53 billion worth of goods annually with more than 100 trading economies.
  • BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing service on 25 routes to 47 terminals, with a fleet of 35 vessels. It is an essential transportation link that facilitates the movement of people, goods and services.
  • BC’s coast features 255 marine parks and conservancies and more than 40,000 islands. The recreational marine industry is one of BC's largest and most vital industries with an annual economic impact of $1.7 billion.

ITA has a dedicated Manager of Industry Relations, Jerome Rodriguez, whose job is to ensure we have the right skilled workers where they are needed by staying connected to the maritime sector.

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Information Boxes

Looking for apprentices?

Thinking about hiring apprentices or know someone who is? Find out more about the resources and support that is available to you.

ITA Premier’s Award Finalist for innovation and excellence

ITA is proud to have been recognized as a 2016 Premier’s Award Finalist for ongoing commitment to climate action and carbon neutral operations.

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Looking for apprentices?

Thinking about hiring apprentices or know someone who is? Find out more about the resources and support that is available to you.

ITA Premier’s Award Finalist for innovation and excellence

ITA is proud to have been recognized as a 2016 Premier’s Award Finalist for ongoing commitment to climate action and carbon neutral operations. The success of BC’s Carbon Neutral Government Program is founded on innovation and partnerships like this to act as a catalyst for public sector climate action.

Kamloops employer profile

Watch this video to find out more about how the journeypersons and apprentices at Hegyi Refrigeration & Mechanical got their start, the barriers and successes they have encountered along the way, and their overall experience working in the skilled trades.

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Meet B.C.'s Champions of Apprenticeship

Today's youth have an array of career options to choose from, but they also face the perception that the skilled trades are not the most desirable career choice. In order to keep our construction and other skilled labour sectors robust and growing, we must be proactive in presenting the trades as a desirable career option for our youth.

Have your say

Trades Talk strives to report on the issues and challenges that matter to you. We want to hear your solutions, best practices and success stories. We would also appreciate your feedback on Trades Talk and any suggestions you have. Email your comments to tradestalk@itabc.ca.